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September 2, 2008

The Weather Channel the Leading Authority During Severe Weather

Most-Watched Cable News Channel As Nearly 50 Million Viewers Tuned In To Follow Expert Coverage of Hurricane Gustav over Weekend, Ratings Continue High on Monday

Based on Nielsen Cable Fast Nationals just in for Monday, The Weather Channel achieved a total day (3 a.m.-3 a.m.) household rating average of 1.1 (delivering 1.2 million homes).* The Weather Channel also showed outstanding ratings performance for its coverage of Hurricane Gustav over the weekend.

More people watched The Weather Channel for Hurricane Gustav coverage than any other news network over the weekend.  The reach for The Weather Channel across Saturday and Sunday was almost 50 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research/NPower.**  By comparison, Nielsen put the reach for CNN at 43 million and for Fox News Channel at 36 million.

"This outstanding performance proves that when severe weather becomes the top news story, people turn to The Weather Channel as the trusted source of experience and expertise," said Ray Ban, executive vice president, programming and meteorology, The Weather Channel.

The same preference for The Weather Channel as the "hurricane authority" held true for weather.com, which had a 126 percent increase in page views over the Labor Day weekend compared to the holiday weekend in 2007.  In addition, on the day prior to landfall, video streams on weather.com increased by more than 1000 percent compared to the July 2008 daily average.  Traffic to The Weather Channel Mobile Web, the most popular mobile content site, also nearly doubled due to Gustav on Monday.

On Sunday, Aug. 31, The Weather Channel had a total day (6 a.m.-6 a.m.) household rating of 1.0, delivering an average 971,000 homes.  TWC ratings peaked on Sunday during the 10 a.m. quarter hour with a household rating of 1.8 (representing 1.7 million homes.)  On Saturday, Aug. 30, The Weather Channel achieved total household rating of 0.8 representing an average of 805,000 homes.  On both days, The Weather Channel ranked #1 in the 25-54 demo, beating out the other news networks in that target demographic.***

On a local market level, the household ratings for The Weather Channel surpassed total day averages for other cable news networks.  TWC rated #1 in markets that included Houston, Ft. Myers, and West Palm Beach on both Saturday and Sunday.  The weekend of Aug. 30-31 ranks as the ninth-highest rated weekend for The Weather Channel (dating back through 1995). 

As the industry leader, The Weather Channel is a cross-platform weather resource and this was highlighted with its coverage during Gustav:

  • Reporting from key areas including New Orleans, Houma, LA, and Morgan City, LA, experienced in-the-field meteorologists provided extended live coverage while Hurricane Expert Dr. Steve Lyons and Severe Weather Expert Dr. Greg Forbes gave frequent updates and analysis. 
  • Video coverage both in studio and on location from The Weather Channel was distributed to MSN, Yahoo, You Tube and Google, which featured TWC on their sites. 
  • WeatherBonk.com, the leading webcam Website and a subsidiary of The Weather Channel Interactive, provided extensive camera coverage for Hurricane Gustav, including traffic Webcams showing New Orleans evacuation routes, as well as coastal webcams displaying real time weather conditions. WeatherBonk Webcams were featured on The Weather Channel as well as weather.com, Google Earth and Yahoo.

* Source: Nielsen Media Research.  Cable Fast Nationals, 9/1/08.  Calculated coverage rating, 3a3a. **Source: Nielsen Media Research/NPower.  Live, 6a6a Time Period Reach, 8/30-8/31/08, P2+, 1 min qualifier. ***Source: NPower, as dated.  Live data.  Total Day: 6am-6am.           


About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.